California Transportation Commission Invests More Than $830 Million in Highway and Rail Projects, Improves Pedestrian and Bicycle Access

public attentionPress release from Caltrans:

The California Transportation Commission today approved more than $830 million to repair highways and bridges and improve the state’s growing network of pedestrian, bicycle and mass transit routes. This investment includes more than $600 million in allocations for State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) projects, Caltrans’ “fix-it-first” program aimed at preserving the condition of the State Highway System.

“We are advancing projects that will keep our economy moving and improve access for all Californians,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “This includes improving safety for cyclists and pedestrians, expanding public transportation and helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Projects approved in Caltrans District 1 include:

  • Approximately $1.3M in support costs for bridge work at South Fork Eel River Bridge No. 10-0218 on U.S. Highway 101 in Mendocino County near Piercy. Work includes a seismic retrofit, bridge rail upgrades, restriping for wider shoulders and bicycle access, and upgraded deck drainage.
  • Approximately $30K in support costs to replace a culvert on U.S. Highway 101 in Mendocino County about 0.7 miles north of the 271 junction near Piercy.

The CTC approved more than $43 million for 18 complete streets projects that will augment existing state highway projects with additional bicycle and pedestrian safety features. This includes bike routes, enhanced crosswalks and sidewalk gap closures. Caltrans continues to seek input from stakeholders to select complete street projects for funding.

The California Transportation Commission also approved more than $36 million in funds for rail and mass transit projects, including freight, intercity rail and bus services. This investment includes $30 million for the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, enhances the movement of goods along corridors with high freight volume through projects that improve state highways, local roads, freight rail systems, port facilities and truck corridors.

Project funding is derived from federal and state gas taxes, including $637 million from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. The state’s portion of SB 1 funds are used for the ongoing maintenance and rehabilitation of the State Highway System. By 2027, these funds will enable Caltrans to fix more than 17,000 lane miles of pavement, 500 bridges, 55,000 culverts, and 7,700 traffic operating systems that help improve highway access, such as ramp meters, traffic cameras and electric highway message signs.

For details on SB 1, visit Rebuilding California -Senate Bill 1.

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7 comments

  • Why don’t bikes pay license to pay for bike lanes?

    • Riding a bike on 101 South or North is dangerous............

      That would work if there were half as many bikes as there are vehicles. But bike licenses would have to amount to one hundred thousand dollars for each bike. I don’t think that would be affordable. The trick is to get every vehicle owner to ride his or her bike to work three or four days a week. Then a part of their vehicle license would go to road construction. Just think of all the room on 101 there would be!!

    • Almost zero wear and tear. Plus, every bike is one less car.

    • I did a calculation with the accepted math of how much damage a vehicle does to the roadway per mile:
      speed * weight-per-axel * weight-per-axel * weight-per-axel * weight-per-axel * weight-per-axel.

      If I was charged a bike license fee based on this–assuming I ride as many miles as I drive, and no one cares about carbon emissions just wear and tear on the roads–the equivalent cost to my yearly car registration (a bit over $100) would be roughly $0.02.

      It’s probably simpler for all involved if I give my two cents here rather than the government having to put me on a scale every year to see how many pennies I owe. Or maybe we could tax every bike sale $1.00 and call it even?

      As a note, running this formula on a Tesla does *not* make them look like a good idea. Their curb weights are comparable to large SUVs. There are also busses that proudly say they replace 100 cars which (with two axles) do roughly the road damage of 100 cars.

  • I generally greatly appreciate the maintenance and repair work that CalTRANS undertakes on existing highways. Bike and pedestrian trails are particularly important, and will prove themselves over the decades in terms of local usage and as tourist attractions.

    However, I generally oppose efforts to “improve” roadways in ecologically sensitive areas such as Richardson Grove and along the “safety corridor” between Eureka and Arcata… In the former, redwoods are threatened in order to make trucking more profitable, while in the latter an entire stand of eucalyptus is clearcut. IMO, many “improvement” projects are a detriment to the environment, and these must be opposed.

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